Friday, January 6, 2012
Nikki Beckett reappears in her hometown mysteriously. Her friends and family have't seen or heard from her in six months and they have no idea where she went or what she did during that time, although popular opinion includes drug use. They probably wouldn't believe her even if she told them. Nikki acted as a Forfeit to feed an Everliving named Cole with her energy for a hundred years (which is sixth months in our world) in the Everneath. Everlivings have to constantly feed people's energy to stave off death and no Forfeit has ever returned remembering their lives and appearing so young. She returned for her family and her boyfriend, Jack. She wants to say goodbye properly before she is forced to go to the Tunnels to fuel the Everneath until she eases to be. Cole wants to ensnare her and make her become an Everliving and be with him for all eternity. Can Nikki find a way to stay on Earth and fix the fractured relationships she left behind or will she succumb to Cole and become an Everliving?
Everneath is an imaginative retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth mixed with the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I love reading all different types of mythologies and this aspect really enhanced the novel for me. The Everlivings themselves have appeared throughout history in myths, but misinterpreted by humanity who translate them into gods or monsters. They reminded me of better, more competent villains from the Negaverse (or Dark Kingdom) in Sailor Moon. These beings are properly evil, constantly and unapologetically feeding on young people and sending them back to Earth aged and without memories. Their society in the Everneath is also interesting and its details unfold throughout the novel. I also really liked the form of the novel. It's told from Nikki's point of view, starting from the moment she returns to Earth after being a forfeit and going forward in time. Interspersed within that timeline are flashbacks of the events leading up to her leaving. I liked how as the novel progressed, the emotions and motivations behind Nikki's actions became clearer and clearer.
There were a few things about the novel that annoyed me. I'm not really sure why almost every paranormal romance has some sort of love triangle, but it was totally unnecessary in this instance. I'm getting increasingly tired with each one that I read and I hope a new trend or more unique stories start being written. It was painfully obvious who Nikki was going to choose, so it didn't add anything at all to the story. Also, because of Nikki's angst and her unnecessary inner turmoil over who to choose, the plot dragged a lot in the middle. Much of those angsty parts could have been edited out while keeping the plot and overall story intact.
Everneath is a quick read that grabbed my attention. I know it's going to be a series, but I think it would also work perfectly as a stand alone novel. I would recommend it to fans of mythology and paranormal romance.
My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins
** Everneath will be released 1/24. Check it out here.**